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Famous Friday Round Up


On March 31, Flywheel Sports, the indoor cycling brand rapidly expanding across the United States and abroad, is opening its first DC studio in the Dupont neighborhood. Occupying the former Visions Cinema space at 1927 Florida Avenue, NW, this will be Flywheel’s largest locale to date, featuring over 60 custom-made, high-tech bikes. The DuPont theater-style studio will offer both Flywheel and FlyBarre, a complementary total body sculpting class. For class times and other info, visit http://www.flywheelsports.com/.


Saturday 44 °F with a chance of rain or snow, Sunday 51 °F and sunny; Keep umbrellas out for tomorrow and be grateful for clear skies Sunday;



Cruz’s missiles; The manager who blogged his team to happiness; Another use for Twitter besides trolling; ISIS has invaded Tatooine; ATL is the busiest airport on earth, literally; Starbucks isn’t even trying to pretend Frappucinos have anything to do with coffee anymore; “Dinner compliments of Coach Dean Smith“; One of the weirder sketches this year; Goodbye Zayn; Governing = crushing candy; Being Andre the Giant;



You know it’s bad when the stairs are broken; RCTA Dinner “Mean Tweets”; Is it a coincidence Downton Abbey is ending the week after Schock resigned?; #Famous5 with Brandon Byrd; Never mind the Cherry Blossoms, here come the food and drink specials; “Do Cool Stuff“; New Metro cars; RIP Piratz; Are you a press secretary? This may be your day; We’re riddled with STDs; Reduce distraction at work; Ben Affleck was here;#votearama; DC will eventually have more than its famous 202 area code; all the cool chefs want to open something in SW; Dannia Hakki on her Thankful Thursday this week;



D. Archibald Smart kept his entire Facebook feed abreast of his travels this week; we heard Mike Sommers scheduling a tour in 2016; When is the next Gatewood, Mueller Flip Cup Tourney?; The CNN table is the fun table; Sara and Shannon Croom are off to the warm beaches of Florida; Andrew Ricci officially a source for Vice News; Brian Walsh is pretty excited for this; 5 Funny Reporters on Twitter;



Tweets we liked you can RT, @mention, or just enjoy: @ahrferrier; @jeremyart;‏@Emma_Dumain; @TheFix; @BuzzFeed;



Matt Lira celebrated his 29th birthday this week; Happy Birthday Austin Becker and Julie Eckert; One day until Dennis Sills’ birthday; Hope Jameson Ma has an awesome birthday weekend;



IJ Review continues to do big things; Tyler Roberts celebrated his first week in the Senate; Matt Hall joins Walker’s “Our American Revival PAC as the director of operations h/t Politico Playbook; Congrats to Kenny Ames and Laura Goldin on their wedding this weekend!; Congrats to Jason Dick and Fawn Johnson; The RNC’s video team, led by Matthew Mazzone (& Lauren Hernandez and David Ross) won two Gold Pollies; Allie Brandenburger is joining Gov. Bush’s Right to Rise PAC as deputy press secretary h/t Politico Playbook; Matt Hall joins Walker’s “Our American Revival PAC as the director of operations h/t Politico Playbook;



Thanks to @StoryPartners: CNN continues to staff up with the hiring of the New York Times’ Tanzina Vega as digital correspondent and the Houston Chronicle’s Teddy Schleifer as the money and politics reporter. Atlantic Media’s Route Fifty adds three: Dave Nyzcepir as news editor, Bill Lucia as reporter and Timothy Clark as a full-time contributor. Say congrats to Philip Klein at Washington Examiner on his promotion to managing editor.



Remember, it’s spring no matter what the temperature is.

Dannia Hakki is a DC-based PR guru and co-owner of the entertainment, hospitality, design and fashion PR agency Moki Media.

I first met lobbyist and hospitality entrepreneur, Vinoda Basnayake, in 2009. I had just moved back to my hometown of Washington, D.C. after cutting my teeth in NYC at a high profile boutique lifestyle PR agency. I had some great experience as a publicist in NYC, but at just 25 years old, I had just taken an entrepreneurial leap to start my own PR agency, MoKi Media. DC was a new market for me, and I needed clients.

I remember walking into Vinoda’s downtown rooftop lounge, Eden, and feeling like I was back in NYC. I had experience with nightlife accounts. I knew what to do, and how to do it. I needed to meet the owner of this place and introduce myself. The connection was instant. He went to Gonzaga High School. I went to Georgetown Day School & The Field School. He went to Georgetown. I went to George Washington University. He was a political lobbyist by day – with a JD/MBA from Wharton Business School – and nightlife entrepreneur by night. I was definitely going to be his publicist.

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When you work on the Hill, certain tasks can take over the time you spend at the job. We polled our press secretary and former press secretary friends to ask how their time is or was spent at work. This week, we have how a Capitol Hill press secretary’s day can sometimes be divided.

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The news is serious business. All day, influencers, lawmakers and everyday citizens follow DC reporters on Twitter to get the latest on what’s happening not only in DC but nationally. We have to be honest – sometimes we just follow them for the jokes.

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Meet Brandon Byrd. He started a vintage mobile eatery paying homage to the Rock & Roll era, serving turtle pecan sundaes, rootbeer floats, doughnut sandwiches, and other amazing treats to District Citizens out of a restored 1952 step van. Named one of the best food trucks in DC, Goodies is now also a stand at National Harbor. We caught up with him about work and life in DC.

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We were thrilled to hear Roll Call’s Jason Dick and National Journal’s Fawn Johnson got engaged this week at The Inn At Little Washington, and immediately asked for more details. Jason gave us the scoop:

“We went to the Inn knowing we would get engaged, but not the hows and whens. After we checked in, we went for a walk and found a pathway around the Inn’s sheep pasture. That’s where we met Francesca and the other llama herder, Jonah. They didn’t look terribly amused with us, but tolerated a romantic moment nonetheless. When we spotted the Shiny Happy Tree a little further down the trail, I figured it was the perfect spot. The tree is made of mirrors and glass and was given to Patrick O’Connell, the Inn’s owner and chef, by the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

“What can I say? I love it when a plan comes together, especially when it involves llamas, outsider art and great food. “

Congratulations guys!


Jason and Fawn


Francesca the Llama, eyewitness

by Nicole Tieman


DC is full of endless distractions. Just looking out your window can provide hours of entertainment; my view of K Street features a steady stream of business people walking briskly to important appointments and lunch meetings; tourists who I assume wandered too far from the National Mall in search of a cheap lunch spot; an endless supply of impatient drivers honking their horns in bumper-to-bumper traffic; and joggers …  so many joggers.

But looking out your window is just one of countless tempting diversions. Many are easily accessible and threatening to your professional success, but none so insidious as your digital delights. Everything from the World Wide Web to your handy-dandy smartphone can cause you to lose focus on that important report and throw you into a tailspin of mindless clicking and consumption of shallow entertainment news.

To reduce work distractions and keep your employers swooning over your impeccable performance, consider these six “simple” steps.


 1.  Dedicate a couple minutes each hour to decompress

It’s difficult to stay focused on your work with so many distractions just a click away. Tantalizing FamousDC headlines and pop culture listicles lure us from research, and within seconds our day is derailed with thoughts of maybe I should’ve given my staff assistant more meaningful responsibilities, and I didn’t realize Valentino made pajamas…

Rather than completely eliminate these fun yet unproductive temptations, dedicate a couple minutes each hour to indulge. If you’re experiencing writer’s block, a tough equation, or simply need to give your eyes a rest from a spreadsheet, shifting focus for those few minutes can refresh your mind and stimulate your creativity.

2.  Schedule your time on social media

There’s no better place to find our favorite listicles, gifs, and videos than on social media, which reigns as the top deterrent of productivity. According to a report conducted by Business Insider, Americans spend more time on social media than any other Internet activity, including email. That’s great news for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the countless other social apps taking up storage on our smartphones- bad news for your employer.

To avoid wasting hours on social media, and possible disciplinary action from your boss, schedule your time on social media. Allot 10 minutes before the work day begins and maybe 10 minutes over your lunch break. That way, you’ll feed your appetite for social connectivity without wasting billable hours.

3.  Avoid Constantly Checking Your Phone

It’s hard to disconnect from social media, especially when you see new alerts popping up on your phone from the corner of your eye. Sure, we make valiant efforts to fight temptation and tell ourselves Twitter can wait, but most of the time the desire to know who retweeted our hilarious commentary on Hillary’s email-gate is too great. The best way to avoid such a conundrum is to flip your phone over. If you can’t see the screen flash, you can avoid distraction, at least for a few extra minutes.

4.  Don’t stop for every email

The average person receives approximately 105 emails per day. If you stop to check every incoming email, you lose momentum and productivity. Turn off the email alert so you don’t constantly click to your inbox. That way, you can focus at the task at hand.  And really, if Senators Lindsey Graham and Chuck Schumer can be successful without email, chances are you can cut back and be just fine.

5.  Avoid music with lyrics

White noise in the backdrop of the workday can be a stress reliever and help you keep focus. Spotify, Pandora and YouTube can set the rhythm and help keep spirits high, but if you’re hoping to avoid distractions, you’ll also need to avoid some of your favorite channels. Taylor Swift’s sick beats are great when you’re getting ready for a night on the town, but won’t help you prepare for a client meeting. To reduce distraction, avoid music with lyrics. Jazz or classical stations are great for calming, filler noise and won’t tempt you to drop it like it’s hot in the middle of the office.

6.  Plan your day (as best as you can)

When you have a daunting work load and everything requires immediate attention, it’s easy to stare at your computer screen and let yourself become overwhelmed by your to-do list. Without a plan of attack, you leave yourself open to any distraction that will keep you from starting your busy day.

Creating a plan will help overcome the onset of professional paralysis when staring down the barrel of an action-packed day. List your tasks in order of importance, and assign a time limit to keep you on track.

Of course, there will be days that are completely unpredictable and you’re hit with one urgent task after another, rendering your plan irrelevant. But on a regular basis, planning out your workday will keep you organized, reduce stress and help you overcome the limitless distractions that coincide with being overwhelmed.


Now having read this, how many of you clicked on the links and song titles while at work? If it was during your allotted few minutes this hour, well, good for you.